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Dueling Realities

Dueling Realities 1

Good Morning Everybody,

I was recently in Pennsylvania at a memorial service for my cousin David, who sadly just passed away, may he rest in peace. I learned something inspiring about him I wanted to share. After David retired from work about ten years ago, he and his wife became big world travelers. And before they would set off on one of their adventures, they’d tell themselves: “No matter what happens, nothing can go ‘wrong’. If something unexpected and undesired happens, it’s just part of the journey.”

Can you imagine if we trained ourselves to have this attitude on a regular basis?! We normally perceive inconveniences, little mishaps, and difficult people as INTRUSIONS that infiltrate our perfectly laid plans. We deem these unexpected disruptions as “WRONG,”because based on our expectations, they weren’t supposed to happen! My cousin’s attitude was that they’re not “wrong;” they just are what they are. They don’t have to be a source of pain that hijacks the moment. They can be perceived as a part of life that we deal with and then just keep going on.

I was writing this idea as I was sitting in the airport waiting to board my plane on my way back from my cousin’s memorial service. I stopped writing so I could get in line to board. When I was just a few people away from showing my boarding pass, the airlines announced that according to their computer, there were no more overhead compartments available for big carry-ons, so they made me check in my bag. As we all know, that throws a wrench into things because now you have to wait at baggage claim to get your suitcase. So I board the plane, take my seat, and what do I see? There are lots of empty spaces in the overhead compartments. In fact, the compartment directly over my head had room for my bag! As I sat there agitated, I realized that this is EXACTLY what this whole post is about! Which was great, because now I could test it out right in the heat of the moment. 

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Well, I quickly realized that as long as I kept thinking about how WRONG it was that the airlines messed up and that “THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING,” the longer I felt bitter about it. It was MY VERSION of reality versus the “REAL” reality!… But as soon as I let go and aligned with the one true reality, I felt a sense of “shlaimus”, wholeness. I felt at peace.

So maybe we can experiment with this today, and tell ourselves that all those unexpected annoyances that will likely occur are NOT a sign that things are going wrong… they’re just a sign that our journey is unfolding differently than we thought. And just to add a spiritual component, we can remind ourselves that things aren’t just going differently, they’re going exactly as they should be, orchestrated by Hashem for our ultimate good.

Have a resilient, flexible and reality-accepting day everybody,


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Dueling Realities 2

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